The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District
recognizes that employees are the District’s most valuable asset, and is driven
to invest in developing this important resource.
Some ways the District develops future leaders is through
training, mentoring, and development activities as part of Buffalo District’s
Leadership Development Program (LDP). The LDP program provides employees with
the opportunity to refine their leadership skills by applying them through
direct interaction with the District’s senior leadership.
Most recently the LDP students had a chance to present book
reports to Buffalo District peers and senior staff, March 22, outlining a wide
variety of different leadership principals and philosophies.
USACE Buffalo District Commander LTC Karl Jansen opened the
book presentations with a discussion on the importance of developing individual
leadership skills and style, and revealed the distinct overlap between
leadership and managers.
“Today’s presentations will help spark self-development
journeys for each LDP participant,” said LTC Jansen. “The way we deliver our
public service is what makes Buffalo District stand out among USACE Districts.”
Each of the LDP leadership development-themed books and
reports were a direct reflection of the individual’s particular leadership
Biologist Heather Adams, who used to own a flock of sheep in
Alaska, chose “The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing
Productive People.” Adams’ choice of book allowed her to glean insights and
messages that appealed directly to her own perspective on life.
“No matter what position you are in there will be
opportunities to use leadership skills, whether it's to mentor coworkers,
support management, lead working groups, or to interface with the public,” said
Adams recognized the value offered by leadership
“Always take advantage of leadership training when you
can. The skills you learn will be
valuable throughout your career,” she said.
Following each presentation, the floor was open to comments
and questions from the fellow LDP participants. This created an open forum on
which ideas, philosophies, and leadership theories could be mulled over by the
“The most rewarding part of the experience was listening
to the feedback from individuals in official leadership capacities versus those
who are aspiring leaders,” said Dr. Michael D. Izard-Carroll, program analyst. “What
better way is there to learn leadership skills than to engage with leaders
about their best practices?”
The LDP participants hail from a variety of backgrounds.
From biologists, to engineers, to planners, to program analysts, it is through
this diversity, a multitude of mission focus areas are spotlighted during the program.
This provides the LDP students and senior staff a unique opportunity to engage
and network with one another, reinforcing and building the Corps of Engineers
most valuable asset, its people.